Haftarah-Shekalim-Reading the Text IV-Step by Step Print

Prophets-Bible-Study-Haftarah-ShekalimAll the people of the land went to the temple of Baal and tore it down. They smashed the altars and idols to pieces and killed Mattan the priest of Baal in front of the altars.

Then Yehoiada the kohen posted guards at the temple of God. He took with him the commanders of hundreds, the Carites, the guards and all the people of the land, and together they brought the king down from the temple of God and went into the palace, entering by way of the gate of the guards. The king then took his place on the royal throne. All the people of the land rejoiced, and the city was calm, because Athaliah had been slain with the sword at the palace.

Yoash was seven years old when he began to reign. (II Kings 11:18-21)

Yoash had already been crowned, as it says earlier, "Yehoiada brought out the king’s son and put the crown on him; he presented him with a copy of the covenant and proclaimed him king. They anointed him, and the people clapped their hands and shouted, 'Long live the king!' (Verse 12)." Yehoiada seems to be taking this step by step with some form of strategy in his mind. He brought the boy out into the Temple, placed the royal crown on his head, presented him with a copy of the covenant, meaning, the Torah, and after the boy held a Torah in his hands, Yehoiada proclaimed him King.

He then proceeds to seal the covenant between God, the people, and the new King, as we saw in “Reading the Text I, II, and III.” It is only at this point that the people go out to destroy the temple of Baal and execute its priest. Yehoiada wants them to destroy the temple of Baal only after they have renewed their covenant with God and the King and with each other. The attack on the temple of Baal cannot just be in anger over all the sins of the kings of Judah and the Northern Kingdom; it had to be an expression of their covenant with each other, with God, and with their King. The covenant with each other as a nation before God included the acceptance of mutual responsibility in their relationship with God. Their covenant with God was a renewal to protect His Temple and His Torah. Their covenant with the new King was a statement that he could only be King if he maintained his relationship with God through His Torah. The attack on the temple of Baal was not in anger, but an expression of their commitment to renew their relationship with God.

This is why it is only after the destruction of the temple of Baal that they can bring the new King to his palace and have him take his place on the royal throne. They would not accept a king who would lead them astray from their relationship with God.

The people were happy, the city was calm, there were no threats of political upheaval, yet, there is still a significant outstanding issue: the new King was just a boy.